February is a busy month for charities, despite threats of snow. The vulnerable are being helped, fundraising abounds, and free interactive events are just some of what comes into play this week in the Greater Philadelphia area and beyond. A few events are listed here, but as is always the case, please consult organizers for the latest updates.
Now – month of February: "An Evening with Berry Gordon" airs on PBS stations across the country through Thursday, Feb. 28. Gwen Ifill hosts this journey into the life and times of Gordy, founder of Motown Records and entrepreneurial communications icon. In addition to interviewing Gordy, the show is filled with renditions of Motown hits by singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson, Motown artist KEM, and sing/songwriter Janelle LeKae backed by American Idol’s Ray Chew and his band. Brandon Dixon and Valisia Lee perform scenes from “Motown The Musical.” Insights into Gordy’s world are shared by Danny Blackwell, president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; Rev. Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader; and entertainment mogul Suzanne de Passe. Other celebs, such as former Pres. Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Leon Huff and more add their perspectives to the star-studded event. In Philadelphia, the show airs Sunday, Feb. 24 at 10:00 p.m. Click here to find a presentation in your area or visit www.pbs.org.
Now – Wednesdays: EUSA Philadelphia Chapter offers “A Great Start for Start-ups” free weekly from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. This membership based community of entrepreneurs shares information for personal growth and professional development in suite 240E at 525 So. 4th Street in Philadelphia. Learn to cut start-up costs, to be profitable, to avoid mistakes, and to expand business in workshops covering how to brand yourself and develop a customer base; how to network and build connections; and how to charge your customers and increase your profit. For more information, visit www.eusaphilly.org or call 800.787.9045.
Now - Winter: The LAEDA entrepreneurial development training program offers a comprehensive combination of courses, individual coaching and business plan development that is designed to help entrepreneurs develop business skills and attract financing. Nine weeks with a total 27 classes are available for indivduals planning start-up ventures or business expansion. Classes typically occur Monday – Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and are free to qualified individuals at 433 Market Street, Suite 100 in Camden, N.J. For more details, visit www.laeda.com or call 856.338.1177.
Now – ongoing: Opportunities are available for International Visitors Council members to be citizen diplomats by welcoming visitors into their homes and Greater Philadelphia from a variety of countries. The latest opportunities will be hosting 9 secretaries of education from Brazil on Monday, Feb. 18 – Wednesday, Feb. 20 and 4 religious leaders from Kazakhstan on Thursday, Feb. 28 – Wednesday, March 6. Both groups are guests of the U.S. Department of State which wants to create the best experience in America. That includes connecting with American families and discussing the group’s respective disciplines with professionals. If you are interested in hosting individuals from either group or exploring future opportunities, contact Ann Stauffer at email@example.com. And, join or renew memberships to the IVC at www.ivc.org.
Thursday, Feb. 7: First Thursday with the International Visitors Council starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 7:30 p.m. The IVC hopes people in the Greater Philadelphia region will join citizen diplomacy in action at the Nineteen 26 Restaurant in the Courtyard Marriott at 21 Juniper Street across from City Hall in Center City Philadelphia. International guests love meeting local residents and hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar are also offered. The event is free to IVC members. Admission costs $15 for nonmembers and $20 at the door without a reservation. RSVP to Alan Hatfield at 215.683.0992, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ivc.org.
Thursday, Feb. 7: Delaware State University hosts a free panel discussion on the film “Django Unchained” at 7:00 p.m. in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus, 1200 No. DuPont Highway in Dover, Del. It should come as no surprise that the discussion topic is Django Unchained: Myths and Realities of Slavery in the Old South. Love it or not, the film raises a myriad of issues ranging from its brutal representations of slavery; the cast system of field slaves, house slaves, and free Negroes; the use of ethnic slurs in cinema; and more. Audience participation is encouraged with panelists: Dr. Jerry W. Ward, Jr, one of the leading experts on author Richard Wright; Dr. Candice Love Jackson, assistant provost and a vice president at Tougaloo College; Deidre Childress Hopkins, former film and entertainment editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and Dr. Ahati N. Toure, associate professor of African History and African Studies at DSU. Visit www.desu.edu or click here to learn about the university’s full array of Black History Month events or call 302.857.6060.
Friday, Feb. 8: Art After 5! At the Philadelphia Museum of Art features pianist Orrin Evans and his jazz quartet. Described by the “New York Times” as “a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command,” he is at the forefront of the music scene. Two sets of ballads and love songs in his signature style will fill the Great Stair Hall from 5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. at 26th and Ben Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia. Did you know the admission fee includes a guided gallery tour and admission to the Perelman Building and Rodin Museum across the street as well as the historic Mount Pleasant House for 2 consecutive days? There is free wi-fi in Lenfest Hall, the Great Stair Hall, the cafeteria, the Balcony Café and the Great Stair Hall Balcony in the main museum. Tickets cost $20 per adult, $18 per senior (65+), and $14 per youth ages 13 – 14 or with student ID. Museum members and children ages 12 and under enter free. More details wait for you at www.philamuseum.org or 215.684.7860.
Friday, Feb. 8: Temple Association of Black Journalists invites the public to “Learn. Network. Succeed.” TABJ Media Mixer welcomes NABJ University of Missouri, fellow NABJ students, and Philadelphia media professionals from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Howard Gattis Student Center in Room 200A at 1755 So. 13th Street in North Philadelphia. Get to know journalists from the University of Missouri and mix, mingle, and network with locals at this event. RSVP to email@example.com or check out the TABJ facebook page.
Friday, Feb. 8 – Saturday, Feb. 9: The Positive Peace Warrior Network presents a 2-day orientation to Kingian Nonviolence with Dr. Bernard Lafayette in Philadelphia. Layfayette is a cofounder of SNCC, Selma organizer, national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign and current chair of the SCLC. King’s last words to him in Memphis were, “Bernard, the next thing we’re going to do is to institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.” Join Lafayette at the Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street in Center City Philadelphia. Participation costs $150.00 per person for 2 days and $300.00 for academic or corporate staff. For more information, visit http://ppwn.org.
Saturday, Feb. 9: During the 5th Annual Valentine’s Bridal Sale Extravaganza, Goodwill of Southern New Jersey & Philadelphia will sell more than 325 new and gently used bridal gowns and accessories at drastically discounted prices. New gowns worth $199 - $4,000 from designers, including Alfred Angelo, Nicole Miller, Demetrios, and Maggie Sottero will at $99 and gently used gowns start at $49. No gown is priced higher than $299.99. Accessories are available as well. The sale runs from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. The line starts early and supplies are limited, so come to Goodwill located at 5461 Route 70 in Pennsauken, N.J. early for the best selection. You can also preview items by liking Goodwill on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoodwillNJ. All sales items were donated and the proceeds benefit Goodwill services. For more details, visit http://www.goodwillnj.org/ or call 856.439.0200.
Saturday, Feb. 9: Beach Ball Gala 2013 benefits For Pete’s Sake, which gives cancer patients and their loved ones the opportunity to strengthen, deepen and unify their relationships through unforgettable lasting respite vacations. This 13th annual event starts with the Gala & Heroes Reception at the Crystal Tea Room located in the Wannamaker Building at 100 E. Penn Square in Center City Philadelphia. From 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., enjoy live music by Cantagious, delicious food, sip cocktails, and participate in the live and silent auctions. Sponsors receive access to the reception and reserved seating at the Beach Ball Gala, which runs from 8:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Tickets cost $125 each. Further sponsorships range from $250 - $10,000. For more information, visit http://takeabreakfromcancer.org or call 267.708.0510.
Saturday, Feb. 9: Philadelphia Heart Ball supports and celebrates the work of the American Heart Association. This ball is an engaging evening of fun that brings together community and philanthropic leaders at the Philadelphia Marriott in downtown Center City Philadelphia. Last year’s Heart Ball campaign raised more than $51 million nationwide allowing the association to fund research and caring programs across the country. Registration for this event is closed but there are still ways you can make a difference. The association is responding to a new imperative. For the first time, the lifespan of today’s children is projected to decrease. The American Heart Association is marshaling resources to, among other things, counter this trend. See the video. Visit www.heart.org/philadelphia for details about upcoming events and other ways to help.
Saturday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb. 10: Philadelphia welcomes the year of the snake on the Chinese lunar calendar at 11:00 p.m. with the Midnight Lion Dance performance at 10th and Race Street. The Chinese New Year officially begins on Sunday, so the festivities continue then with the Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. It winds through Chinatown starting at 10th and Spring Streets. A martial arts performance also takes place at 10th and Arch Streets. For a listing of local celebrations, visit the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation at http://chinatown-pcdc.org/cny-2013/cny-events/.
Sunday, Feb. 10: Bright Hope Baptist Church is turning 103 and still going strong. Come join the celebration of another amazing year in the Lord. This event runs from 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and also celebrates Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Johnson’s 6 years as pastor. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks will bless everyone with his words. For more information, visit www.brighthopebaptist.org or call 215.232.6004.
Sunday, Feb. 10: Delaware State University Chinese students/scholars host the free 2013 Chinese New Year Celebration at 2:00 p.m. in the Education and Humanities Theatre on campus, 1200 No. DuPont Highway in Dover, Del. The Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is an important festival in many Asian countries and takes place in January or February on the 1st day of the lunar calendar. Every year hundreds of people in Dover gather for the festival, which this year honors the year of the snake. Learn more at http://desu.edu/ or e-mail DSUCSSA@gmail.com call 302.857.6060.
Sunday, Feb. 10: The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents free, “A Public Forum on Race and Gender in Contemporary Art.” Join the conversation with panelists Ken Johnson, a “New York Times” art critic; Kimberly Brooks, artist and founding editor of Huffington Post Arts; artists Njideka Akunyili and Joyce Kozloff; moderator Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, University of Pennsylvania associate professor of American Art. The discussion opens with remarks from Robert Cozzolino, curator of PAFA. PAFA’s Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building at 128 No. Broad Street is the place to be in Center City Philadelphia from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Visit www.pafa.org/publicforum for more details and to register.